Serious incident McDonnell Douglas MD-83 N9413T, Thursday 12 July 2001
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Date:Thursday 12 July 2001
Time:19:24 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD83 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD-83
Owner/operator:Trans World Airlines (TWA)
Registration: N9413T
MSN: 53188
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-217C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 138
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Whiteman AFB, MO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Saint Louis-Lambert International Airport, MO (STL/KSTL)
Destination airport:San Jose-Norman Y. Mineta International Airport (SJC/KSJC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The McDonnell Douglas MD-83, operated as a scheduled passenger flight, experienced a catastrophic failure of the left engine while flying at 31,000 feet. The flightcrew heard a thud and noticed that the left engine was surging. White smoke filled the cabin and cockpit. The flightcrew donned their oxygen masks, declared an emergency and initiated an emergency descent to Kansas City International Airport (MCI), Kansas City, Missouri. While descending towards MCI, the flight crew changed their emergency landing destination to Whiteman Air Force Base (SZL), Knob Noster, Missouri, when they were approximately 18 miles north of SZL. Flight crews are not issued approach charts for SZL by their operator. The flight crew requested the runway 19 instrument landing system (ILS) frequency from air traffic control (ATC) and were issued the incorrect frequency. The flight crew also requested and was given the inbound course for ILS 19. The flight crew never obtained the correct ILS frequency for the remainder of the flight and relied upon a radar approach to SZL. During the approach, ATC instructed the flight crew to maintain the a minimum vectoring altitude of 2,500 feet mean sea level. The flight crew descended below minimum vectoring altitudes of 2,500 feet mean sea level to 1,800 feet msl in order to descend below a cloud layer which was 1,400 feet above ground level during the radar approach to SZL. A metallurgical examination revealed a fatigue fracture of one fan blade. Examination of the left engine revealed that the fan exit case exhibited a 360 degree fan exit case fracture. Several service bulletins (SBs) applicable to the fan exit case introduce a newer engine case made of steel to replace the older aluminum case and to install stops to restrict the axial separation of the case in the event of case fracturing. The SBs state that there have been 5 instances of full 360 degree fan exit case fracture, all due to fan blade fracture. They further state that when the case fractures, the front of the engine with the cowl shifts forward. The incident engine had an aluminum fan exit case and did not have stops installed.

Probable Cause: The separation of a fan blade due to fatigue failure which led to case separation and loss of engine power in the left engine.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CHI01IA211
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

25-Mar-2024 11:07 ASN Update Bot Added

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